If you are deciding on a new floor for your home, you may be considering either hardwood or laminate flooring. They are very different floor coverings so here is what you need to know before you make your decision.
What is hardwood flooring?
Hardwood flooring is a plank or block of flooring that has been made from a species of hardwood tree. The most common species of hardwood flooring are Oak or Walnut. You will find two main types of hardwood floors; solid wood flooring, which is made from a single piece of wood, and engineered wood flooring, which has a real wood top layer and a base made from plywood. The appearance of the floor will depend upon the species of wood you choose, the surface finish, colour stains and the plank sizes.
Planks of hardwood flooring (Real Oak)
What is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is designed to mimic real wood flooring. It is a synthetic floor covering made of multiple layers, with the top showing a high resolution photograph laminated onto the planks. Years ago laminate flooring was regarded as a cheap option, but over the years the designs have become more realistic and flooring is more durable. Laminate flooring is available in many different styles and patterns including, wood effect and stone tile effect.
Planks of Oak style laminate flooring
Should I choose hardwood or laminate flooring?
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice really depends on your budget, the location of the floor and your personal preference.
Here is a quick guide to help you choose between the two:
- With real hardwood flooring you are getting a natural product. It provides you a natural and elegant floor covering that will add a timeless appeal to your home.. Some high quality laminate floors can be mistake for real wood at a glance. However, take a closer look and you will notice that it doesn’t have the same feel or characteristics as real hardwood.
- If you are on a tight budget then laminate flooring is probably the choice for you. It is made using cheaper products, therefore it is much cheaper in price than hardwood flooring. You will find that the price is reflected by the quality of the flooring. Just be careful not to go for extremely cheap or poor quality laminate as it may not last very long.
- Hardwood flooring can last a lifetime if you take care and look after it properly. Have a look at our Hardwood Flooring Care Guide. Even if it starts to look tired and dull, it can be sanded and re-finished to revive its beauty and prolong its lifespan. On the other hand, laminate flooring cannot be sanded. It tends to have a life expectancy of between 5-20 years depending on the quality you choose. If you are looking for a flooring to last for decades then definitely opt for hardwood.
- Both are easy to look after and keep clean.
- If you are looking for flooring for a bathroom we would recommend a waterproof laminate flooring. Hardwood flooring can become damaged with excess moisture so should be never be used in any wet areas.
- If you have underfloor heating you can use either engineered hardwood or laminate flooring that is suitable for underfloor heating.
Engineered Oak Flooring
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